A Practitioners' Guide to Manage Projects Effectively

2 min read
3/1/24 2:37 AM

We all want projects to be successful, but unfortunately, the reality is that many software projects still fail for one reason or another, like misunderstanding and communication barriers leading to wrong decisions, missed opportunities, communication breakdowns, or worse, leading to substantial economic loss.

Below are some of the significant factors to consider for achieving project success: -

  1. Strategy Analysis
  2. Stakeholder & Team Collaboration
  3. Requirement Analysis & Management
  4. Project design
  5. Communication
  6. Documentation

Let’s discuss each aspect briefly.

Define Strategy

Understand the problem statement if It’s a new initiative to help the Business or Changing/migrating from an old initiative to a new technology. Also, assess if change is required due to other Business needs.

Once the problem statement is defined, further discussions are required to decide on a buy or build-from-scratch strategy. Also, there is a need to identify dependencies and manage dependencies.

Feasibility studies must be performed to understand Business requirements and determine proposed solutions. Choose the most suitable project methodology and perform impact analysis.

At the end prioritization needs to be performed – what to begin with, what is our MVP (minimal Viable Product)

Stakeholder Management

This involves identifying important key decision-makers and business roles. Involving and managing all stakeholders is something that must not be overlooked. The stakeholders include all the project members, subject matter experts, sponsors, and any teams from the surrounding systems.

Requirement Analysis & Management

Know the Importance of good business requirements and how to write them. It’s the process of understanding stakeholders’ expectations. Once stakeholders’ expectations are identified, requirements must be documented, validated, and managed. Below are the steps taken to document, validate, and manage requirements: -

  1. Define requirements, use cases, and/or user stories.
  2. Define the software architecture.
  3. Define test case and acceptance criteria.
  4. Analyze and document impact.
  5. Deliver on external commitments.
  6. Build working software – the minimum viable product (MVP) – ready for release.
  7. Create end-user training materials.
  8. If mistakes are discovered early in development, damage can be prevented.
  9. Short-sighted and temporary fixes typically result in high maintenance costs and significantly impact users.
  10. Get user acceptance sign–off.

Project Design

Good project design starts with defining project milestones and creating the project design. Establishing high–level business requirements – this information will help evaluate whether any standard software can meet your requirements. It should always be carefully evaluated whether an existing piece of software will fulfill the needs.

Defining Responsibilities include Defining and publishing the project RACI matrix, Understanding upstream and downstream systems and dependencies, and how to deal with them.

It also involves identifying and categorizing risks under ROAM (Resolve, Own, Accept, Mitigate) after a business walkthrough.

Scheduling initial sessions to bring business and IT on the same page for transparency.


Communication is always a critical part of any project. The entire team should be involved early in any phase of the project. Always understand the Cost of delays and proactively communicate to business about any impacts.

Good two-way communication brings transparency and mutual understanding by choosing the method and cadence of communication.

Demo your solution to stakeholders as early and frequently as possible for early feedback.


Having accurate product documentation is crucial, but finding the right level of detail can be tricky. Documentation that isn’t up to date can be useless when trying to find out why a system behaves in a certain way. Outdated documentation creates a dependency on developers to explain how the system works.

What level of detail is right for you should be decided in advance, as that sets the bar for all future software releases.

Always ensure that all the business decisions are well documented, taking particular care to keep track of the business rules.

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